At today's plenary session of the PACE winter session of Secretary General of the Council of Europe Jagland TerbÑ‘rn briefed at the Assembly on the activities of the organization. CoE Secretary General replied to the questions of the parliamentarians, APA’s European Bureau reports.
Answering the question of a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE Rafael Huseynov, regarding holding Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev hostage by Armenians, Jagland TerbÑ‘rn noted that returning of these Azerbaijanis to their homeland would be a significant gesture.
"As for the arrest of two Azerbaijanis by Armenians, I raised this issue two years ago at a meeting with the President of Armenia. And I have raised issue in connection with the return of the body of Azerbaijani soldier, who was killed on Dec. 29 as a result of ceasefire violations. In such matters we should be based primarily on concern nation’s people. We are not members of the Minsk process, engaged in the search for a solution to the conflict and our organization has no authority to establish peace. However, referring to the humanitarian aspects of the problem, we are always ready to contribute. Returning them to Azerbaijan would be a significant gesture. In matters of conflict to defuse the tension should always give priority to humanitarian gestures”, - said TerbÑ‘rn Jagland.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.